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China’s One Belt One Road: An Overview of the Debate

In September 2013, President Xi Jinping proposed the building of the New Silk Road Economic Belt during his visit to Kazakhstan, and in the same year in Indonesia, he proposed the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road — now they are collectively called One Belt One Road (OBOR for short). After further discussion and planning, Chinese domestic bodies of various levels gradually reached consensus on this initiative. At the Boao Forum on 28 March 2015, China released the “Vision and Action on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road” (Vision and Actions for short) which was jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce with State Council authorization, indicating that the OBOR initiative has officially become one of China’s national strategies.
OBOR has evoked widespread discussion within China as well as a range of interpretations internationally. Some observers view it as a grand strategy for extending China’s economic and geopolitical influence into Eurasia and beyond, while others are concerned that OBOR might reshape global economic governance and lead to the rebirth of a China dominant Asia.
Details are still scarce, however, and a concrete top-level design is still lacking. This has led scholars and the mass media to inject more information than can be found in officially published sources. This paper seeks to provide an analysis of the issues from the point of view of scholars in China.
Please click to view the full article on the website of ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute.

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